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August 18-31
VOL.14 ISSUE. 26

Worth The Wait

Chris Morin
Published Thursday August 7, 05:30 pm
T. Nile’s perfectionist streak delivers a powerful album


Tuesday 19


It’s been a long time coming, but T. Nile’s latest album, Tingle & Spark, has finally arrived. But the delay certainly wasn’t due to a lack of effort, according to the Vancouver singer. With two full-length efforts, At My Table and Cabin Song (released in 2006 and 2009 respectively) already to her credit, Nile began working on her third release quite some time ago — but shelved many of her initial efforts.

A self-described perfectionist, Nile says that she’s at long last satisfied with her latest effort.

I have a policy for myself that I won’t release anything unless I’m in love with it,” says Nile. “[Several years ago] I did a live recording with my drummer and his friend on Saltspring Island in a farm building. It was done live in the massive, gorgeous-sounding room. It was inspired by the indie, atmospheric folk that was happening at that time like Bon Iver and Iron and Wine. But we never finished mixing the project.

With Tingle & Spark I really do love this album, but it did take two years to record.”

From the plucky banjo intro on opening track “Shaky Throne” to the electro-glitch bass bump of “Ryder”, Tingle & Spark is a diverse listen that, at times, is a balancing act between several genres. What ties the LP together is Nile’s harmonic sensibility, with strong, resonating vocals that tread towards R&B and contemporary pop territory.

Though Matthew Rogers from The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer was drafted to co-produce the impressive diversity of sounds on Tingle & Spark, Nile says that she’s still a folk artist at heart.

I think the music itself could fit into different genres, like pop or indie, but who do I feel most at home with? That tends to be the folk-y crowd,” she says. “It’s always felt less competitive, and that’s where I thrive. I grew up in an artistic community, and with the whole ‘back to the land’ sort of thing. Everyone helped each other in any way they could.

I also don’t really think of genre when I’m writing,” says Nile. “There’s usually a spark of inspiration — sometimes from the narrative side, sometimes it’ll be a melody or sometimes it’ll be whatever instrument that I’m in love with at that moment. I wanted to make an album that I’d be excited to hear. I write songs because I have to, but with the production of [Tingle & Spark] I was conscious to make something that I could hear in my head, and sometimes those two worlds come together.”

And while Tingle & Spark is perhaps her most impressive album musically, it also represents a new side to her lyric writing.

This was another reason that the record took a while to come out: because one of the things I’ve developed in the last few years is a comfort with vulnerability, which I didn’t have when I started out. On my first two records, as a songwriter, I didn’t want to expose certain things — I didn’t want any love songs and I didn’t want to be confessional. I curated those songs out of the collection.

I’ve always had a pretty wide taste in terms of what I like and what I can produce, and with this record I went more with raw passion musically — it’s a romantic road trip record,” she laughs.

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